Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why let truth get in the way of good promotion?

For the past 20 years we have been at the mercy powerful, well connected forces within the 'helmet-manufacturing-brigade'.

Not only have their seemingly entrenched powers screamed discrimination, but they have cleverly fuelled the unfounded hysteria that abounds in our Australian community. Consequently they have effectively 'neutered' our politicians.

Notwithstanding these obvious marketing tactics, our leaders continue to 'duck' behind preposterous protection claims underpinned by opinion and anecdotes.

Undoubtedly a cultural disconnect exists between the 'helmet-saves-lives' rhetoric and actual evidence of fact - and as a result, we suffer accordingly.

I have now reached the conclusion that:

* the NSW Minister for Roads & Transport is never going to write back to me - clearly

* I have stumped him - clearly

* He is at a loss at what to say next - clearly perhaps I can help with this 'simple solution'...

REPEAL MANDATORY HELMET LAWS!!! - they are never going to work!


  1. Sue it looks as if the compulsory helmet brigade is extending its reach to the UK. Following hot on the heels of Jersey's new cycle helmet law for under-18s (which was narrowly defeated for adults), Northern Ireland is now proposing the UK's first compulsory helmet law for adult cyclists, see:
    What can we do to stop this cancer spreading to the UK mainland?

  2. The CTC are onto the Northern Ireland threat, so it may pass without incident.

    I'd love to find out how much a typical "helmet" costs to manufacture: both initial setup costs (I expect very large) and unit costs (I expect very small). I've a feeling that they're popular with distributors and bicycle shops because they can add a nice large mark-up.

  3. Well I really hope the CTC has the teeth to do something, because if we don't it won't be long before someone will raise the issue in Westminster. Peter Bone(head) MP has been campaigning for compulsory helmets for years and I'm sure would be on any legislative changes in a shot. And yes, totally agree on the profiteering motives behind the helmet industry.

  4. I'm guessing 5 bucks ,max,to produce a standard helmet.A little bit of foam,a little bit of plastic, couple of straps and some cheap labour.

    BTW SSH, I'm looking forward to the launch of 'Treadly' magazine this Friday.Perhaps a little bit of common sense amongst the main stream media re the helmet issue?



  5. Coshgirl & Fonant - aaaaaahhhhh!!!!! DON'T LET THEM!!!! - fight, protest, write, check the provisions on your human rights acts/charters (lucky you - we don't have such stuff only MHLs) - get your journos on board, friendly pollies - anything that will get the message out there - make sure you match their promos with the truth - jeez how scary this is for you!!

    Ian, me too!!!! - mainstream is important, and sadly most of ours believe in extreme and ballsy-type cycling

  6. Hi Sue, I have my suspicions that the CTC will not be able to stop this law. As a campaigning organisation I'm afraid to say it is pretty useless :-( What worries me is that this private members bill is being supported by the 'charity' Headway and if they get their way in Northern Ireland their next step will be to target the UK mainland. As you noticed when you visited London, many cyclists here have already bought into big helma and as a result there is general perception amongst the UK public that helmets are already mandatory. Couple this with a press that is hostile to cycling at best and a victim blaming judicial system that lays responsibility on cyclists to 'protect' themselves from cars, rather than drivers to take care around more vulnerable road users, and I think we could be in trouble. I work in government and many are already of the opinion that MHLs are already on the way - regardless of what we think or do.

  7. Coshgirl, how depressing - and what is it with the press? Why do they buy into these notions without any investigation whatsoever? - ours take a similar approach too.

    Jeez MHLs are bad news - DON'T DO IT!!!!!!

    Good luck!

  8. Bicycle road helmets are made from the same stuff with the same processes that disposable packaging is. They're just styrofoam and bubble plastic. Yup, tooling costs a bit of money, but each unit is produced for close to nothing.

    A lot of people don't understand that there is little to no money made in selling bikes, the margins are so thin. If you buy a $500 dollar bike and a $50 dollar helmet, all the money was made on the helmet.

    Is it any wonder that the "industry" loves them, even if they reduce actual ridership?

  9. kfg, also depressing and sounds so very plausible - makes me want to rail against the whole matter even more!!! - it's so outrageous!